RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Residents in Saudi Arabia are banned from entering or exiting Riyadh, Mecca and Medina, as of Thursday, according to new coronavirus prevention measures approved by King Salman bin Abdulazizi.
King Salman also approved a measure that bans residents in the Kingdom’s 12 regions from traveling between different areas.
In a larger effort to contain the spread of the deadly virus, the recently imposed curfew will begin at 3 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. in the three cities of Riyadh, Mecca and Medina as of Thursday.
The ministry said curfew exemptions still apply to those in vital public and private sector such as security, military and media. Those who work in health services are also excluded from the curfew.
The Kingdom has so far confirmed two coronavirus – related deaths, one on Tuesday and one Wednesday. The total number of infections is now 900, according to the health ministry.
Malls and parks were shut down earlier this month in an effort to slow the spread of the deadly virus. Meanwhile, restaurants and cases were banned from serving food and beverages on their premises. Workplace attendance was also suspended at most government agencies for a period of 16 days, except for health, security, and military sectors.
ABU DHABI – Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, discussed Friday with the Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, bilateral relations and ways to enhance them in all fields. In a phone call, the two leaders reviewed a number of regional and international … Continue reading NEWS | Mohamed Bin Zayed Receives Brazilian President’s Phone Call
RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman sent messages of condolences on Friday to the leaders of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the death of Sheikh Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, deputy ruler of the emirate of Sharjah. ‘(We) ask God Almighty to bless him with … Continue reading NEWS | Saudi King, Crown Prince Send Condolences To UAE Leaders On Death Of Sharjah Official
WASHINGTON – The U.S. State Department on Friday said it ‘was disappointed’ by the government of Turkey’s decision to change the status of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan declared the ancient monument a mosque again. ‘We understand the Turkish Government remains committed to maintaining access to the Hagia Sophia for all visitors, … Continue reading NEWS | U.S. State Department ‘Disappointed’ In Turkish Government Decision On Hagia Sophia
ISTANBUL – President Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree on Friday opening Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia as a mosque after a Turkish court annulled a 1934 government decree that had turned it into a museum, a copy of the decision showed. Erdogan shared on his Twitter feed a copy of the decree he had signed which said … Continue reading NEWS | Turkey’s Erdogan Signs Decree Converting Hagia Sophia Into Mosque
BUCHAREST | ROMANIA – The Russian Orthodox Church on Friday said it regretted that a Turkish court did not take its concern into account when ruling that Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia being a museum was unlawful, the TASS news agency reported. It said the decision could lead to even greater division. A Turkish court said on … Continue reading NEWS | Russian Orthodox Church Says Regrets Decision Over Hagias Sophia – TASS
MILAN | ITALY – Italy on Thursday banned entry to people coming from 13 countries that it said presented an excessive rate of COVID-19 infections. The list compiled by the health ministry comprises Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Kuwait, North Macedonia, Moldova, Oman, Panama, Peru and Dominican Republic. The ban affects anyone … Continue reading TRAVEL | Italy Bans Entry From 13 Countries Due To Coronavirus Fears
RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense made Thursday a telephone call to His Excellency President Jair Messias Bolsonaro of Brazil. During the phone conversation, Prince Mohammed bin Salman was reassured of the health of the Brazilian President, … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | Saudi Crown Prince Makes Phone Call To Brazilian President
ROYALS | Meghan Markle Asks British Court To Prevent Newspaper From Revealing Identities Of Friends Who Defender Her
LONDON – Meghan Markle asked a British court to order a newspaper to refrain from publishing the names of five friends who previously defended her in a U.S. magazine on the condition of anonymity. The Duchess of Sussex made the request in a witness statement for her lawsuit against the Daily Mail and its parent … Continue reading ROYALS | Meghan Markle Asks British Court To Prevent Newspaper From Revealing Identities Of Friends Who Defender Her
BUCHAREST | ROMANIA – The Kremlin said on Thursday Russia currently had no plans to hold talks with Saudi Arabia ahead of joint OPEC+ ministerial monitoring committee due to be held next week.
RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – The Saudi-led military coalition fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi group in Yemen said it destroyed two explosive –laden boasts in the red Sea, Saudi State TV reported on Thursday. The two remotely controlled boats were threatening navigation, the coalition said. They were destroyed south of the Yemeni port of Salif it … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | Saudi-led coalition in Yemen says explosive boats destroyed in Red Sea – Saudi TV
MILAN | ITALY – More than 170 nonprofit groups on Wednesday called for Johnson & Johnson to stop selling its talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder world-wide, citing concerns that is contains cancer-causing asbestos, according to a statement from advocacy group Black Women for Wellness. The groups, which include educational institutions such as Emory University and activist … Continue reading HEALTH | Nonprofits Urge Johnson & Johnson To Halt Sales Of Baby Powder Globally
LONDON – The coronavirus crisis will cost banks across the world a combined $2.1 trillion in losses on loans by the end of next year, credit ratings agency S&P Global estimated on Thursday. This year is expected to see a $1.3 trillion hit, more than double the 2019 level, S&P predicted. Around 60% of the … Continue reading BUSINESS NEWS | Coronavirus Will Cost Banks Over $2 Trillion In Loan Losses: S&P Global
MILAN – Facebook Inc on Wednesday removed 50 personal and professional pages connected to U.S. President Donald Trump’s longtime adviser Roger Stone, who is due to report to prison next week. The social media platform said Stone and his associates, including a prominent supporter of the right-wing Proud Boys group in Stone’s home state Florida, … Continue reading SOCIAL MEDIA | Facebook Takes Down Accounts And Pages Of Trump Ally Roger Stone
BUCHAREST | ROMANIA – Facebook Inc on Wednesday suspended a network of social media accounts it said were used to spread divisive political messages online by employees of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and two of his sons. The company said that despite efforts to disguise who was behind the activity, it found links to staff … Continue reading SOCIAL MEDIA | Facebook Suspends Disinformation Network Tied To Staff Of Brazil’s Bolsonaro
RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it had complete the first batch of its flour milling sector privatization, according to a statement by the state grain buyer and privatization centre. The long-awaited flour mills sale was one of the first privatisations the kingdom planned as part of a wide-reaching overhaul of … Continue reading BUSINESS NEWS | Saudi Arabia Completes First Phase Of State Mills Privatisation
GENEVA – Saudi Arabia nominated a former economy and planning minister to head the World Trade Organization on Wednesday, a WTO document showed, amid a last –minute flurry of submission to succeed the incumbent Roberto Azevedo who is stepping down in August. ‘The following communication, nominating Mr. Mohammad Mazid Al-Tuwaijri for the position of Director-General, … Continue reading BUSINESS NEWS | Saudi Arabia Nominates Candidate To Bead WTO: Document
BUCHAREST | ROMANIA – Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, he said in a television interview on Tuesday.
Geneva – The World Health Organization on Tuesday urged travelers to wear masks on planes and keep themselves informed as COVID-19 cases surge again in some countries, prompting new restrictions in places like Australia. Spokeswoman Margaret Harris urged people not to be cough off-guard by resurgent local epidemics and quarantine measures, saying: ‘If it’s anywhere, … Continue reading HEALTH | WHO To Travelers – Keep An Eye On ‘Anywhere And Everywhere’ COVID-19
LOS ANGELES – Ventures backed by big-name entertainers Kanye West and Francis Ford Coppola were among those approved for loans under a U.S. government program to help businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic, according to a list released on Monday. Billionaire rapper West’s clothing brand Yeezy received clearance for a loan between $2 million and $5 … Continue reading BUSINESS NEWS | Kanye West’s Clothing Brand Hollywood Production Companies On Pandemic Loan List
RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Unemployment among citizens in the first quarter fell below 12% for the first time in four years, official figures released on Tuesday showed, but they did not capture the impact of the coronavirus crisis. Unemployment fell to 11.8% from 12% the previous quarter, the General Authority for Statistics said. ‘Data … Continue reading BUSINESS NEWS | Saudi Unemployment Falls In First Quarter, But Before Coronavirus Impact
NEW YORK – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that the United States is ‘certainly looking at’ banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, suggesting it shared information with the Chinese government, a charge it denied. ‘I don’t want to get out in front of President (Donald Trump), but it’s something we’re looking … Continue reading SOCIAL MEDIA | Pompeo Says U.S. Looking At Banning Chinese Social Media Apps, Including TikTok
JEDDAH | SAUDI ARABIA – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Qatar exceeded 100,000 and Kuwait surpassed 50,000 on Monday, their health ministries said. Qatar, which has seen its daily numbers fall from a peak of 2,355 in late May, added 546 new cases and five deaths in the past 24 hours to give … Continue reading CORONAVIRUS | Qatar Coronavirus Exceed 100,000, Kuwait Tops 50,000
RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia’s state oil producer Aramco has hiked official selling prices (OSPs) for its crude to Asia by $1 a barrel in August, and raised the OSPs for almost all grades to Europe and the United States. Saudi Arabia has set the August price to Asia at plus $1.20 a … Continue reading BUSINESS | Saudi Arabia ups August Crude Prices To Asia
RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia announced health protocols to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in the 2020 Haj Season, banning gatherings and meetings between pilgrims, the state news agency said on Monday. Saudi Arabia decided in June to limit the number of domestic pilgrims attending the Haj to around 1,000 to … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | Saudi Arabia Announces Haj Health Measures For Domestic Pilgrims
NEW DELHI – India has withdrawn a planned reopening of the Taj Mahal, citing the risk of new coronavirus infections spreading in the northern city of Agra from visitors flocking to see the 17th century monument to love. Local authorities issued a new advisory late on Sunday ordering an extension of lockdown curbs on monuments … Continue reading ARTS & CULTURE | India Puts Back Taj Mahal Reopening Citing COVID-19 Risks
LOS ANGELES – American rapper Kanye West, a vocal support of U.S. President Donald Trump, announced on Saturday that he would run for president in 2020 in apparent challenge to Trump and his presumptive Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. ‘We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision … Continue reading POLITICS | Rapper Kaney West Announce U.S. Presidential Bid On Twitter
RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi government initiatives to support the financing of the private sector to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak have exceeded 51 billion riyals ($13.60), the central bank said on Sunday.
ATHENS | GREECE – Greece will not allow Serbian visitors in from July 6 until July 15, the government said on Sunday, as it moved to contain the spread of coronavirus during its peak tourism season. Serbia declared a state of emergency in Belgrade on Friday, reimposing some restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 … Continue reading TRAVEL ALERT | Greece Bans Entry To Serbian Citizens Until July 15
RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia will extend the validity of final exit visas for expats at no charge, an official source from the interior ministry said. The Kingdom will also extend the validity of expired residency visas, that end during the travel ban, for expats outside the state for a period of three … Continue reading NEWST ALERT | Saudi Arabia Extends Validity Of Exit, Entry Visas For Expats
NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Congratulates President Of The United States Of America On Independence Day
RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, has sent a cable of congratulation to President Donald Trump of the United States of America on the anniversary of his country’s Independence Day. In his cable, HRH Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman … Continue reading NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Congratulates President Of The United States Of America On Independence Day